Former Aces coach sues Charlotte County Hockey Club
Coach who lost job when team was sold is the only breadwinner for family of five, claim says
The former head coach of the St. Stephen Aces, who claims he fulfilled his duties faithfully and properly, has filed a lawsuit for breach of employment contract.
Emery Olauson claims he suffered financial stress, embarrassment and anxiety following his unexplained dismissal from the team after it was sold last month to Fredericton to pay off its creditors.
Court documents claim Olauson was terminated "without just cause" less than a year into his three-year contract, which paid him a base salary of $51,000 plus benefits and performance bonuses.
The documents say Olauson purchased a house in St. Stephen and was expecting to live there for at least the duration of his contract.
"The employment was very important to Mr. Olauson," said the statement of claim filed in Saint John.
"In particular, the Aces are specifically aware that Mr. Olauson has a spouse and three children, including two young children, all of whom depend on him for income."
Olauson, 37, is seeking damages, including compensation for lost income, lost medical and dental benefits, lost pension contributions and his three weeks paid vacation entitlements.
He's also asking to be paid for any relocation expenses associated with his bid to get a comparable job elsewhere in New Brunswick or Canada.
Nothing in Olauson's claim has been proven in court.
The Charlotte County Hockey Club, a non-profit volunteer organization, issued a brief written statement to say it would fully defend against the claim.
"As it is CCHC Inc.'s established policy not to discuss former employee matters in public, this will be our only comment on this matter at this time," said the statement dated May 13.
According to the online database, Elite Hockey Prospects, Olauson's coaching career included stints in Grand Forks, B.C., Flin Flon, Man. and Fayetteville, N.C.
The Aces played five seasons in St. Stephen at the Garcelon Civic Centre but ran a deficit every year.
Home game ticket sales, which averaged about 800 tickets per game, only covered about 25 per cent of the team's annual budget of $450,000.
The Aces did reach out to the local business community hoping to find more corporate sponsorships to keep the team going, but not enough support materialized.
The Maritime Hockey League board of governors approved moving the franchise to the Grant-Harvey Centre, where the team has been re-branded as the Fredericton Junior Red Wings.
The first season passes for the Red Wings went on sale Monday at $300 for an adult and $260 for a student.